This one time I was dismissing a class and saw Royo sitting in the back, eating a smoked snerdle and reading a treatise about our predecessors. He was holding back laughter, so of course I had to ask him what was so funny. He told me my bearing and appearance reminded him of a prominent Pathfinder leader of the old, but I had one major advantage over that worthy; my face was red even before I started shouting at people. He then fled chuckling like madrat. I later asked Celita who Royo meant. She trawled the information and condensed it, "You are like Ambrus Valsin, but balder."
Later, I got Royo's book in my hands—I won't say what I paid for the privilege—and skimmed through the past leaders. While Valsin served his order dutifully through great difficulties, I felt greater kinship with another well-bearded worthy who went by the name Marcos Farabellus. He was a man who would have been at home on Akiton, ready to dare any danger with a blade and a smile. Again I found myself at Celita's doorstep, asking if more was written of a leader of such magnitude. As she began the trawl, I mused how she would describe me in one sentence. Her answer was, "The loud old doctor who earned great renown for standing stoutly in a line to get a Strawberry Machine Cake record with a thousand kids." I am not old.
I teach a lot. Mostly I deal with etiquette, linguistics, medicine, and basic survival techniques. While science interests me, lately there has been little time to devote to it. I firmly believe that a leader should dabble in all fields to understand how they work. The trick is not to get proud, but to know when a specialist is required.
I get along well with Naiaj. I appreciate her ability to oversee the Society's supply chain, and she appreciates that I teach others to use those supplies responsibly. Also, "you pack a lot of volume in that thin body of yours." I noted that I had never heard her raise her voice, to which Naiaj simply stated, "With your bellowing and Radaszam's glaring I don't have to anymore." She's practical. I like it.
Radaszam called me in to analyze jinsul tactics. I stated they were an undisciplined mob who attacked heedlessly and fought with bloody-minded lack of self-preservation. He grumped and asked, "like you?"
I love fencing. In the clash of blades I hear the call of a thousand generations and feel my blood quickening. I am proud of my accomplishments with the art, but make no mistake, there are many fighters far better than myself. Never let pride blind you to the fact that sometimes an ice launcher is the tool you need, not the blade.
I've heard it said that I have fought fiercely against the jinsul. The story about "my glorious stand" against their horde is widely circulated. That being said, if you take your attention away from the shouting swordsman in the middle of the bridge, you'll notice Nissa and her pets sniping at their flanks, 701 gunning down the ones who attempted to flank me, Boron making sure the actual job got done, and Evdaroko punching the jinsul commander with the full glory of the sun. All Starfinder operations are team operations. I just happened to yell so loudly the jinsul took me for a leader, so they swamped me. I suppose it's a compliment of a sort. They had to pry the sword from my hands afterwards. Zigvigix said he understands what that felt like.
Know your people and respect their talents. Also respect their choices; Starfinders often need to act far from a chain of command, and think fast. A failure in the field is often a failure in training.
Some call the Society a dumping ground for malcontents and miscreants. Mostly, they are right. We have a dozen media stars, twenty former mercenaries, pirates, or assassins, at least one Eoxian psychologist (overworked), death-priests, a ysoki grandmother who joined after a grandchild told her how interesting it was to work for Starfinders (ask for the preserved sandbrute!), a quartet of dwarves who hate computers and are not entirely sure about the differences between goblins and orcs, a vesk solarian wrestler, skittermanders up to my armpits (probably just three, but the yellow one is louder than me), and a morlamaw who can outrun an elf, and that's just my class yesterday.
Keep an eye on Triaxus. Everyone says Eox or Aucturn are the most hostile places in the Pact Worlds. They are mistaken.
Zigvigix asked me why I don't like hats. I once spent months on Castrovel walking home. If you don't wear a hat in the jungle, you'll be eaten by tiny things. If you wear a hat, the bigger things in the canopy will pounce on you. Tiny things were more aggravating, so I wore the hat for months. I get sick just from holding a hat.
People ask me why I have a reputation for shouting. I prefer talking. But my team has a very specific style of operation. Evdaroko and I make a lot of noise and draw everyone's attention, while the others do the delicate work. There's only so many times you can shout "DIVE, MY SOLARIAN FRIEND!", "FOR AKITON," or "KEEP FIGHTING, MY BURLY FRIEND" before you get a reputation for being loud. I kind of enjoy it, to be honest. It is an honored Akitonian tradition to fight shouting the glories of your allies, both to encourage them and discourage the enemy. That, or the cool detachment of a professional, but shouting upsets my opponents more.
I don't have cybernetic implants. I don't like the idea of machines inside me, but that's about it. Biotechnology is fine.
If there's one leader in the Society who can outshout me, it's Fitch. I respect her deeply, and am somewhat envious of her ability to combine career and family.
Green and gold are my favorite colors. They are not too common on Akiton, so they seem exotic to me. Even after Castrovel.
People keep asking me what's my plan. There is no plan. We have been running on the edge of a blade for two years, and there is a limit to how long your luck can hold. Desna knows that luck is good, but only a fool relies on it. Luwazi has reunited us, but we are still in a sorry state. We need to regroup, take stock, and draw a deep breath before committing to a new grand project. It will come. And I'll make sure we are ready when it comes.